Non-small cell lung cancer can fall into three categories: squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma), adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. These types of non-small lung cancer are lumped together because 1) unlike small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery even after they have spread and
2) non-small cell lung cancers tend to grow and spread much more slowly than small cell lung cancer, often not spreading outside the chest cavity until the disease is very advanced.
Non-small lung cancers: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma account for up to 80 percent of all lung cancer cases and are believed to be caused by exposure to asbestos, exposure to harmful substances (such as benzene, fiberglass, uranium, petroleum products, and radon), and the combination of cigarette smoke and exposure to toxic substances.
Symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer include a persistent cough that worsens over time, continual chest pains, coughing up or expectorating blood, shortness of breath, hoarseness, tightening in the chest, recurring pneumonia or bronchitis, inflammation of the face and neck, unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite, and extreme exhaustion.
If you have developed non-small cell lung cancer, exposure to toxic substances might be to blame, even if you smoke or have smoked in the past